THE Bank of England has held interest rates at the record low of 0.5 per cent.

The Bank's Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) agreed to leave the rate where it has been for five years, despite rumblings some members are edging closer to voting for a hike.

The quantitative easing (QE) programme of asset purchases, pumping money into the economy, remained unchanged at £375bn.

Loading article content

Governor Mark Carney said the economy had edged closer to the point where interest rates would need to rise.

Earlier this year, Mr Carney exclusively told The Northern Echo interest rates could increase ahead of the next General Election, but wanted more jobs created in the North-East before he would intervene.

He added: "We are one year into a recovery, but it is an uneven recovery.

"Our job is to help turn this into a strong, sustainable and balanced expansion.

"This is not about getting back to where we were in 2008, our aspirations are much higher.

"The point is that if a recovery is just based in the South-East, it is neither sustainable nor balanced. It has to include the North-East.

"There is still slack in the labour market, you can see that here and right across the country. We need to use up more of that slack before we raise rates."